Pro Staff

Tommy Samuels

Home waters:  

Charleston SC

Experience:

Tommy is a lifetime fisherman and has been paddle fishing for over 22 years.  He actually started paddle fishing almost 40 years ago when he and his brother would paddle their surfboards out beyond the breakers to fish for Blues and Spanish off the NC coast.  More recently he went on a quest for “the perfect kayak” and fished from over 40 makes and models in a 2 year period before deciding there was no perfect kayak.  You name it, chances are good that he’s paddled it.

Tommy is a member of the South Carolina Outdoor Press Association with a monthly feature article on kayak fishing for Coastal Angler Magazine – Charleston.  Tommy has also contributed articles to Kayak Fishing Magazine, SC Outdoors and Tideline Magazine.  He is actively involved in promoting kayak fishing through a variety of events and public speaking engagements including the East Coast Canoe and Kayak Festival, Berkeley County Blueways, the Charleston Boat Show, and speaking to paddling groups across the lowcountry.

He is the owner/operator of Kayak Fish SC, LLC a Charleston, SC based guide service specializing in redfish, trout, and flounder.  KayakFishSC.com

Professional affiliations include Pro Staff positions with Kayak Bass Fishing, Hook 1, Wilderness Systems, Adventure Technology, Harmony, Z-Man, Columbia, and Okuma.

Tournament Record:

On the podium 3 for 3 in 2010
2nd Place – IFA Charleston 2010
Big Trout – IFA Georgetown, 2010
4th Place Trout – JAX Classic 2011

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Rob Appleby

Home waters:

South West United Kingdom

Experience:

Rob has been fishing for well over 30 years where he spent most of his time fishing from the shore. During the quiet season he could be found tournament casting where he regularly achieved distances in excess of 260 yards.

His military postings have seen him move around the UK, though in the late 90’s a move to the South of the UK and some poor angling experiences saw him transition to kayak fishing in 2007. As much as he

fishes various locations around the UK when possible, he concentrates his efforts in the South West where the tides and fishing can be quite extreme.

He is an author for a couple of UK kayak forums and as a keen photographer often submits his work to various sites. As keen blogger and kayak DIY enthusiast he regularly shares experiences and ideas on

his website, ‘Saltwater Kayak Fisherman’. Despite being very competitive, the kayak tournament scene in the UK is currently non-existent, hopefully this will change as the sport continues to grow rapidly.

He is currently operational in Afghanistan and due to return to the UK in late November.

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Jose Chavez

Home waters:  

West Central Florida

Experience:

Jose has been fishing all his life and got his start offshore, fishing the barrier reef in Belize. After moving to Tampa, he started pier and wade fishing before making a transition into kayak fishing in 2006.

His passion for kayak fishing and photography has made him a frequent contributor to Kayak Angler Magazine and other publications such as Florida Sport Fishing, and Costal Angler. Additionally, Jose is a contributor to various fishing and photography websites such as Kayak Angler Magazine Blog, Saltyshores.com, Hook1 blog, Skinnywatercultureblog.com, and HCKAClub.com. Jose is a forum moderator and tournament director for the Hard Core Kayak Angler’s Club; the largest kayak fishing club in Tampa Bay and one of the largest in Florida with well over 400 members.

Jose is currently a member of the Hobie Regional Fishing Team, Kayak Bass Fishing, Owner Hooks, Pro-cure, Wang Anchor, Aquabound Paddles, Aquadream Spoons, Hard Core Kayak Anglers Club, and a member of the HOOK1 Crew.

In addition to fishing recreationally, Jose participates in many of the kayak fishing tournaments throughout the state of Florida:

 

Tournament Record:

3rd Place Team (2011)- Hobie World Kayak Fishing Championship Australia

4th Place (2011) – Hobie World Kayak Fishing Championship Australia

1st Place Snook (2011) – Hard Core Kayak Anglers Series Event #4

1st Place Slam (2011) – Hard Core Kayak Anglers Series Event #3

1st Place Slam (2011)  – Hard Core Kayak Anglers Series Event #2

4th Place Angler of the year (2010-2011)  – Paddle Fishing Tournament Series

2nd Place (2010) – Kayak Fishing Classics “National Championship”

1st Place Snook (2010) –Paddle Fishing Tournament Series Mystery Lure Challenge

1st Place Slam (2010) –  Hard Core Kayak Angler Series Final

2nd Place (2010) – Kayak Fishing Classics Ozello

Kayak Wars Record Redfish @ 46.5” (2010)

1st Place Snook (2010)- Paddle Fishing Tournament Series Mystery Lure Challenge

1st Place Slam (2010) – Paddle Fishing Tournament Series Dynamic Duo

6th Place Slam (2010) – Jacksonville Classic

1st Place redfish (2009) – Paddle Fishing Tournament Series

1st Place (2009)- 321 Seatrout Tournament

3rd Place Slam (2008) – Paddlefishing.com May Shootout

1st Place Slam (2008) – Paddle Fishing Tournament Series Mystery Lure Challenge

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Chris Parson “SJ Fish Whisperer”

 

Home waters:  

Cape May, NJ

Experience:

Chris has been an avid fisherman all of his life having grown up in Cape May, NJ. By the age of 15, he was supplying local bait shops with fresh and live bait which he continues to do 24 years later. His time on the water and knowledge of bait and feeding patterns has earned him the nickname “Fish Whisperer” among his peers.

Chris has a deep respect for the sport and enjoys the unique camaraderie found among kayak anglers. He fishes the NJ sod banks, jetties and the open ocean from Stone Harbor to Cape May as often as possible. He also fishes many tournaments and attends events up and down the east coast. He has won and placed in many events over the years, but his trophy is his time spent on the water.

Chris serves as the Tournament Editor at Kayak Fishing Magazine and also contributes feature articles, and equipment reviews. He has learned a lot about the sport and the industry through this experience. KFM has also given Chris the opportunity to travel, and to become more involved with the sport from the inside even collaborating with some companies on products. He tirelessly attends events that help drive the sport to continue its growth.

In 2010 Chris co-founded Jersey Cape Kayak Fishing with Charlie LaBar (aka Lunchbox). A group dedicated to promoting the sport of kayak fishing in southern NJ through free clinics, and gatherings. They are non-profit and host events for various charities. Their kayak fishing/birding guide service will be in full swing in 2012.

For the past few years, Chris has in one way or another been involved in several shows, clinics, demos, tournament committee’s, and programs such as; NJ Outdoor Woman, Casting for Recovery, Take a Soldier Fishing, along with some local and regional programs. He is always interested in lending a hand, wherever the adventure takes him.

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John “Toast” Oast

Home waters:

Bloomsburg, PA / Portsmouth, VA

Experience:

John “Toast” Oast, a lifelong outdoor enthusiast and former professional athlete, is a native of Portsmouth, Virginia and currently resides in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania.  Oast is the founder of the Pennsylvania Kayak Fishing Association and the Williamsburg Kayak Fishing Association in Virginia.  He also owns Susquehanna Fishing Magazine and SusquehannaFishing.com, an online publication serving the Susquehanna River regions of New York, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.  His popular Fishyaker.com kayak rigging videos have received over 900,000 views.

Oast is a member of the Ocean Kayak Professional Fishing Team, Dunkin-Lewis Pro Staff, East Coast Kayak Fishing Team, TFO Pro Staff, and a pro staffer for Johnson Outdoors’ brands Old Town, Necky, Carlisle Paddles, Extrasport, Cannon, and Humminbird.

In addition to being a regular guest on The Great Outdoors television show, Oast’s kayak fishing exploits have been featured in various regional and national publications and media outlets, and he travels extensively competing in kayak fishing tournaments and promoting the sport. Oast is proficient with both fly and conventional tackle, and can often be found fishing for any of the Chesapeake Bay’s abundant species of fish, or floating Pennsylvania’s rivers and lakes for bass, crappie or anything else he stumbles upon.

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Rob Choi


Home waters: 

Central and Southeast Virginia

Experience:

Rob Choi is an avid kayak angler from Richmond, VA and although he lives close to the mighty James River, he frequents the Chesapeake Bay more often. His addiction to the salt has earned him a reputation among the locals as the fish junkie with reckless abandon to logic, time, and societal norms in his pursuit for the “tug that is the drug”. What he lacks in long term experience, he makes up in his passionate dedication to the sport now. He shares his love of the sport through his blog, http://www.angling-addict.com, as well as being a prostaff member at YakAngler.com and crew member of HOOK 1.

Contact:
Phone 804-986-3760
email: robchoi79@gmail.com
website: http://www.angling-addict.com

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Steve Gibson

Home Waters:

West Central Florida

Experience:

Hello, my name is Steve Gibson. Born and raised in beautiful Sarasota Florida. Fishing has always been a huge part of his life.  I have been fishing for 20 + years, I started fishing when I was a young boy. I have experienced many different styles of fishing from deep dropping and trolling in the Bahamas to light tackle/fly fishing the flats in my kayak. I am an avid tournament angler fishing tournaments around the state of Florida. I am a career Firefighter / EMT since 2005 and I also operate Shallow Pockets Fishing, a kayak fishing guide service covering the Sarasota/Tampa bay area.  I am a member of the Florida Paddlesports and Jackson Kayak fishing Team.

Website:

www.shallowpocketsfishing.com

Blogs:

http://flyfisher437.wordpress.com/

Steve Gibson   

941-256-5833

flyfisher437@yahoo.com 

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Michael Guyer

Home Waters:

Virginia

Experience:

 Growing up, I learned how to fish freshwater. My Dad, from the time I was around 5, would take me to the Hudson River, or one of the many other streams and rivers in Upstate New York. His experience growing up was fishing the Long Island Sound, so he was a fan of big, heavy weights and snelled hooks with live bait. We used round bait casting reels on fiberglass rods, with heavy green braid. I soon discovered spinning gear, monofilament and artificial lures and would fish wherever my bicycle would take me, which at 13 or so meant about a 20 mile radius. To date, my personal best is an 8 lb. black bass that fell for a red/white Eppinger Dardevle weedless spoon out of the Esopus Creek when I was 15 or so. As much as I liked targeting bass, I could often be found on a summer night at a golf course pond fishing for bullhead catfish. I also targeted panfish and am still convinced that perch are some of the best eating I’ve ever had. Lake Oneida provided some of the best eating perch I’ve ever had.

As I got older, I continued to hone my skills, with an emphasis on using lighter tackle to pursue bigger fish. I started using low profile baitcasting gear to fish for bass and found unexpected gratification in landing huge carp with it. While not really considered a true gamefish in this country, Europeans have considered carp a worthwhile gamefish for decades. In any event, on any given fishing trip, you are now likely to find both baitcasting and spinning gear on my kayak.

With the exception of the occasional head boat off Virginia Beach or trip to Oregon Inlet in the Outer Banks of North Carolina to chase speckled trout, my saltwater education really began when I joined the Tidewater Kayak Anglers Association. My mistake, and it’s a common one, was thinking “I don’t really know anything about fishing saltwater.” What I learned was that if you know how to chase the freshwater bass species, then you know how to chase the inshore saltwater species. I am now addicted to chasing redfish, speckled trout, striper and flounder. The only difference, as far as I’m concerned, is that tide becomes a consideration. Redfish are the most active on the outgoing tide, in my experience. All the other factors, such as barometric pressure, moon phase, approaching weather fronts and the like, affect the freshwater and saltwater bite the same.

I’ve also learned that less is more. At first, I would load my kayak with enough tackle to stock the shelves at a Mom-n-Pop store. Now, I rig a few rods, decide which baits I’m going to use and only bring spares of those baits, possibly in different colors. Forcing yourself to fish just a few baits on a trip will make you better at using those baits and give you more confidence in your overall fishing prowess.

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Adam Harbuck 

Home Waters:

Louisiana

Experience:

Adam has been fishing the bayous, sloughs, and swamps of Louisiana in small paddlecraft for the last 35 years; he bought his first pirogue at the young age of 14. Specializing in shallow water techniques, he likes hunting big bass in close quarters.

He is a ProStaff Member of KayakBassFishing.com as well as a HOOK1 Crew Member. Adam is very active in spreading the “gospel” of kayak angling to fishing clubs; as a seminar presenter and representing kayak manufactures at trade shows and demo days, as well as a contributor to various media outlets.

He contends that once you fish for bass at eye level, one you experience the thrill of close quarters fishing, once you feel the adrenaline rush of landing a fish in such close quarters you will be a hooked on kayak fishing.

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Angler:  

Chris Tryon

Home Waters:

Wilmington NC

Experience:

Chris Tryon is originally from Massachusettss and has always had a passion for the outdoors.  Starting his fishing addiction in fresh water ponds while slowly progressing into fly fishing.  The United States Marine Corps brought Chris  to North Carolina, and after meeting his wife there, he decided to make the Great North State his home.  Chris can now be found poling the flats in South East North Carolina or at Hook Line and Paddle Canoe and Kayak Outfitters which he co-owns.

Tryon is a endorsed guide for Native Watercraft, Cannon, Accent Paddles, and the NRS coordinator of the coastal capture for NCKFA (North Carolina Kayak Fishing Association) and the president of the North Carolina Fly Fishing Association.

In addition to this, Tryon writes a monthly article for Coastal Angler Magazine (Cape Fear Region).  He has contributed to the Fisherman’s Post with guide time articles.  Tryon is just as handy with a fly rod or spinning tackle while he chases the local redfish, flounder, and trout.  Tryon’s true passion is to teach people how to kayak fish and getting them on the water.  He truly feels that everyday there is something new to be learned when on the water.

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Shaun Russell

Home Waters:

North Texas Area

Experience:

Shaun grew up camping and fishing with his parents in Texas while still in diapers. Most weekends were spent either camping or fishing with his parents at a local lake or fishing with his grandfather at one of his many cattle tanks. “I can’t remember the first time I picked up a fishing pole, I just can’t ever remember there not being one in my hands”. He grew up and went from fishing for bluegill and catfish to concentrating his efforts on studying the habits of largemouth bass. Feeling grateful to have a wife of 19 yrs. and a family that understands the fishing addiction, most weekends he can be found on one of the many beautiful lakes that Texas has to offer. Like most of the bass fisherman around him he bought a bass boat, joined the local bass club and began fishing tournaments. He sold the bass boat a couple years ago and bought his first kayak. What a culture shock it was not being able to run and gun like he did with the bass boat! After a couple months he found the flexibility of the kayak allowed him to fish the areas he had jumped over so quickly before more thoroughly now. He also found he was catching much larger bass than he did while fishing from a bass boat. Although not having to worry about the cost of gas, oil, maintenance, insurance, etc… of the bass boat was a major reason why he sold the bass boat, he found kayaking to be a more rewarding way to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the waters he fished. “I’ve made some great friends through kayak bass fishing that share the same beliefs and respect for the waters we share and the fish we pursue. I enjoy helping new kayakers get into this great sport and look forward to the opportunity to help grow the sport of kayak fishing in the north Texas area.

http://northtexaskayaker.blogspot.com

Russell.Shaun@ymail.com

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 CJ “Csueper Jeanyus” Siebler

Home Waters:

San Diego, CA

Experience:

I started kayak fishing back in 2001 when the sport was starting to make its first “big” push.  Tournaments had just started getting big and very few kayaks were made with fishermen in mind.  Rigging was basic and everything was a DIY project as very few manufactures were looking at Kayak Fishing as a serious part of the industry.  Boy has all this changed….

Since starting kayak fishing I have owned dozens of makes/models however have always stayed true to traditional paddle style kayaks.  I guess I just enjoy paddling.  It seems I always found myself liking the most efficient kayak I was comfortable in and thus in the last few years have found myself exclusively on Wilderness Systems kayaks.  Although these are the boats I paddle I do try every new model I can get my hands on so that I have that comparison and can use my knowledge and experience to best educate those looking to enter the sport or simply those who wish to get something a little different from what they are currently paddling.

About 5 years ago I made a change in careers to make Kayak Fishing my full time focus.  I quit my job working on the sportfishing boats of San Diego when I was offered a job running an OEX store here in San Diego. The experience is one I jumped on due to my love of kayak fishing and OEX’s reputation for having played such a huge role in growing the sport in our region.  Since I have started working here a lot has changed.  Stores have come and gone and we now do more online business with KayakFishingSupplies.com than we do locally.  One thing has remained constant though, This sport is growing and we are seeing more and more companies catering to the kayak angler than ever before.  It excites me to be so directly linked to the industry through my work and my passion for kayak fishing.

Even with all the change in the industry I still find myself fishing almost as basic as my first outing.  Just a couple rod holders, a sonar, and small boxes of tackle.  I also find myself away from the now crowded areas like La Jolla (a kayak fishing legendary spot) and back to the waters of Mission Bay where I first started.  Fishing spotted bay bass and their freshwater cousins still gets me more excited than a big yellowtail ever will.  Just something about fishing that light line and small lures for such an aggressive fish that makes my heart pound.  I also enjoy using my kayaks for waterfowl hunting as well, my #1 all time favorite thing to do.  Guess it is a good thing that today’s kayaks are so versatile and allow me to pursue both of my favorite activities on one platform.

It is important to me to help as many new anglers get into kayak fishing as possible.  I teach into to kayak fishing classes  For this reason I have recently accepted position of Coordinator for the Southern California chapter of Heroes on the Water,  This organization is one that every kayak angler should do their part to support on any level possible.  While SoCal’s chapter is one of the newest forming there is little doubt in anybody’s minds that we have potential to quickly grow to one of the organizations largest chapter.  I am very happy to have a part in this and to have the support of local kayak anglers of every level from my customers to friends like Jim Sammons.  If you have a passion for kayak fishing and want to touch the lives of our nations heroes, you need to look into how you can get involved with HOW.

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